Captured by Porches
35851 Industrial Way #D, St. Helens, 757-8359, capturedbyporches.com. Beer Bus: 113 SE 28th Avenue (in the cart pod); winter hours noon-7 pm Tuesday-Sunday. St. Johns Beer Porch: 7316 N Lombard St., 971-207-3742; 4-9 pm Monday-Thursday, 2-10 pm Friday, noon-10 pm Saturday, noon-8 pm Sunday.
[THIS CHARMING STAND] The short history of Captured by Porches reads more like an episode of VH1's Behind the Music than the story of delightfully twee, semi-mobile beer posts that serve outstanding microbrews out of Mason jars. After humble beginnings as a rogue homebrewer selling beer at DIY shows around Portland, brewmaster Dylan Goldsmith went legit and founded an operation out in St. Helens with his wife, Suzanne. The Captured brand's interests were divested when the two split, resulting in Dylan tending the hops back in St. Helens while Suzanne operates the brand's namesake beer porches. You can always find a handful of taps (five on our visit) pouring Captured beer in the parking lot-turned-cart pod of Kruger's Farm Market at the St. Johns Beer Porch, a delightfully oversized replica of an Appalachian porch accented by a wood-burning stove, threadbare couches and the occasional ramblings of an Irish folk singer in a porkpie hat and a natty tweed blazer to set the mood. You wouldn't bring a date here, but you'd certainly come back 10 years later when your marriage enters the "knitting together in silence with the dog at your feet for hours" phase. To further confound things is the Captured Beer Bus, an operation now run independently by former brewer Brian Stuart White out of the cart pod on Southeast Ankeny Street. Brian likes to keep at least one Captured beer on tap for posterity, with the Invasive Species IPA being a popular regular.
DRINK THIS: Run to get a jar of the Sprockettes Chocolate and Vanilla Porter. It's rare for a porter with flavors you'd find at Starbucks to avoid syrupy, cloying overtones that mask any lingering hop flavors after each sip, but this porter manages to do just that. Smooth, rich and chocolaty with a finish that reminds you you're actually drinking beer.